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The value of a fingertip

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Blog entry by Craftsman on the lake posted 712 days ago 1182 reads 0 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Update: I have an infectious disease specialist and orthopedic doctor actually trying to save my fingertip. I’ve got a picc line in my arm now that goes into my heart. It delivers meds every day to try and heal the bone. The goal is to cure the bone then graft slivers of bone from my wrist to my finger to strengthen it. I figure it’s still 50/50 but it’s a plan. I brought with me my ipod and me playing the guitar. I’ve played for 40 years. I use all 10 fingers. No singing, no strumming, classically. That made them decide to save it. More to come.

A short while ago I blogged about an infection I had in my fingertip. It could have been caused by anything, nail biting, hitting the finger, or a splinter (I get lots of them). Well, as of this writing, I’m scheduled to see an infections disease specialist that is pretty much a second opinion. I’m also set up to have my finger tip amputated on the 27th of this month.

Yup, my finger tip has no pain, no lack of use, no discoloration. But it must be removed. It will be amputated at the joint. Blood tests, xrays, and MRI’s show it. It’s on the left hand and I’m left handed. Bummer indeed. It’s not as if I’m looking at a saw blade cut that makes it look obvious.

Anyway, I’m resigned to it and am thankful it’s not anything worse. 58 years old and this is the first medical issue I face. Could be worse.

I write this to inform all the tough guys out there. Don’t take a cut/infection for granted. I’m like a lot of you. Wipe the blood off and hope it doesn’t mess up the wood. You hear about people who have issues from a simple cut. Well, I’m proof that whatever caused this in me can actually happen. And if you do get an infection don’t let it go. With mine the bone’s blood vessels were damaged enough that delivery of an antibiotic to the bone via the bloodstream isn’t possible.

I will not be posting pictures of my finger after the operation. I hate those!

Later.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.



33 comments so far

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

405 posts in 2148 days


#1 posted 712 days ago

I hope everything works out for you. I smashed the tip mine 15 months ago. It really didn’t hurt that
Much after a couple of minutes. I put a plastic guard on it and finished the task. A week later, I decided to,have it x-rayed, the tip beyond the joint looked like a bottle that had been shot with a bb gun.
You are right, we really should not ignore injuries. I was much luckier than you, but it still can get very tender when I over use it. Again, good luck!

-- jstegall

View tinnman65's profile

tinnman65

1120 posts in 2046 days


#2 posted 712 days ago

Sorry to hear about your finger but thanks for the reminder, I can’t count the times I’ve cut myself in the dirtiest, nastiest places at work. I normally just wipe it off and keep on going , and with hand sanitizer just a few steps away in my lunch box.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View John 's profile

John

208 posts in 2034 days


#3 posted 712 days ago

Great attitude Craftsman, and I agree since I have the same mentality and it’s a very difficult habbit to break. At least you’ll still be able to work with wood. My cousin continued as a machinest even after getting his hand completely crushed beyond repair. He became a supervisor for that company until he died, non work related.

-- John

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2280 days


#4 posted 712 days ago

Dan,

I am extremely saddened to hear this has come to this. Please get a 2nd and 3rd opinion before committing to anything, there just might be someone out there that knows something others do not and is worth finding.

...but if not – as you said, could be much worse (not that it makes this a happy occasion).

all the best wishes!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View muleskinner's profile

muleskinner

668 posts in 1069 days


#5 posted 712 days ago

It used to be when I was younger and suffered the scrapes and scratches that were common in my trade, I’d wrap some electricians tape around it and carry on. In a couple of days it would be healed up. Now days it seems like it takes forever for the skin to heal. Getting old is not for the faint of heart.

Craftsman, you’ll have to come up with a good story for that finger … you lost it to that monster lunker in the lake and now, like Ahab, are on a quest for vengeance; or in a bar fight with Mike Tyson … something like that.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2382 posts in 2070 days


#6 posted 712 days ago

Thanks Sharon, bone/joint doctor, family physician, MRI technician, and on Monday I’ll see infectious disease specialist. The understanding though is that I’m just doing it so that I have no regrets about pursuing all avenues. All say 99% sure.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2382 posts in 2070 days


#7 posted 712 days ago

Muleskinner:
I grew up with stories of alligators, and big fish from an older brother who lost a big toe from an axe accident in the woods. I’m ready!

What I’m most concerned about is my guitar playing. I’ve played for nearly 40 years and it’s not just strumming to sing. I can’t sing anyway. I use all 10 fingers and am a self taught classical guitar player. It will be very different now.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View ChuckV's profile (online now)

ChuckV

2403 posts in 2159 days


#8 posted 712 days ago

Dan,

I am sorry to hear about this. I wish you all the best. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

-- “That it will never come again / Is what makes life so sweet. ” ― Emily Dickinson

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

6938 posts in 1935 days


#9 posted 712 days ago

darn dan, hate to see this happen, but we are all faced with problems in life, and it gives us the chance to learn and grow from them, you will just have to work a bit harder and get use to how it is when it comes to playing the guitar..i wish you didnt have to go this far with it, is there anyone who knows how this happened, is it from your genetic make up…wishing you the best buddy…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

6938 posts in 1935 days


#10 posted 712 days ago

is it the finger on your chin in your avatar…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View sandhill's profile

sandhill

2119 posts in 2556 days


#11 posted 712 days ago

Well gee thanks, I got stuck two days ago with the tip of my mortise chisel but it still is very tender and a bit puffy I never realized how important your thumb was. I have a doctors appointment next week so I will let him take a look at it.
Thank you for sharing your story. Get better soon.

-- Bob Egbert AKA Sandhill http://www.sandhillwoodworks.com/

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2382 posts in 2070 days


#12 posted 712 days ago

Ha, yes it is that finger grizz. and no it’s not genetic. It’s an infection from something. and it doesn’t have to hit th bone. Just from the skin.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10737 posts in 1322 days


#13 posted 712 days ago

Dan, I’m so sorry to hear of this but I’m confused:” no pain or lack of function”; there must be some compelling reason to amputate. Is it a MRSA infection that antibiotics won’t touch? It doesn’t sound like MRSA as they are usually very ugly.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2382 posts in 2070 days


#14 posted 712 days ago

No gfadvm it’s not the MRSA one so it’s treatable but it’s in the bone on the end digit of my finger. It has been there awhile and the MRI indicates that blood vessels to the bone are damaged so delivery of antibiotic are not possible.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3710 posts in 2000 days


#15 posted 712 days ago

Now you can only count to 9-3/4 … just an attempt at a joke! Infections are serious business.

The drug I take for RA decreases my ability to fight infection so I have to extra careful with anything from a cat scratch to upper respitory infections.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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